Shelton has been at WBOS since 1995, when he was let go from Infinity classic rocker WZLX (100.7), where he had been for two years after a lengthy stint at WBCN (104.1). Shelton's brand of personality-driven morning radio was at odds with the "morning music station" image WBOS PD Jim Herron has been crafting at the station.
There's no word yet on a successor for Shelton; WBOS is planning to use celebrities to fill in for several weeks. There's also no word on Shelton's future plans following his last show Friday morning.
It took a while, but Greater Media's country station is once again legally WKLB-FM (99.5 Lowell-Boston). The call change was delayed when WKLB moved from 96.9 this summer, and 99.5 was forced to bury a quiet "WOAZ Lowell-Boston" each hour till now.
Out in central Massachusetts, there's a new addition to the shrinking roster of live, local AM radio. Ed Skutnik has regained control of Greenfield's WGAM after selling it and sister FM WRSI (95.3), and he's now programming WGAM (1520) with a live format featuring lesser-known oldies from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Also up in Franklin County, Northfield's WNMH (91.5) is once again doing live student programming from Northfield-Mt. Hermon School weekdays after 2 PM. The "Radio One" CHR satellite service still fills the off hours.
Summer Arbitrons are beginning to roll in...starting with Boston, where WBZ (1030) built on its 12+ lead to check in with an 8.4, an unusual summertime gain for a news-talker. Trading spots are CHR WXKS-FM (107.9), now in second, and CHurban WJMN (94.5), now in third.
This week, Rines' grandson, Frederic Thompson, told staffers at WCSH-TV (Channel 6) and WLBZ-TV (Channel 2) that he's selling the stations to Gannett, giving the media giant its first Maine holdings. Elswehere in the region, Gannett owns newspapers in Connecticut, Vermont, and upstate New York, along with WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) in Buffalo. The company is not related to Maine-based Guy Gannett, which owns TV and newspaper properties across southern Maine.
The purchase price was not announced, and Thompson says no layoffs are planned. WCSH-TV has long been the top-rated news outlet in Portland, while WLBZ-TV is in second place behind WABI-TV (Channel 5) in Bangor.
Over at Portland country outlet WPOR (101.9/1490), John Bryant (known on-air as John Shannon) has been named program director; he replaces Tom Hennessey, who resigned this summer. Bryant had been production director at WPOR.
And in Harpswell, the local cable access channel says it's going LPTV. An article in the local daily paper says the channel will be available over-the-air within a few months; so far, NERW's seen no sign in the FCC database of any LPTV license in Harpswell. We'll keep you posted...
Up in the Glens Falls market, hot AC WNYQ (105.7 Queensbury) could have to move its tower, if neighbors in the town of Moreau get their way. They've won the latest round of a court fight to get "Wink" to stop using its 500-foot tower on Grant Mountain. At issue is the certificate of occupancy issued to the station a year ago. Neighbors argued that the tower was a commercial structure that should not have received a permit in a "rural preservation" zone. Now a state Supreme Court justice has agreed, ordering the certificate to be revoked. WNYQ owner Bradmark Broadcasting is appealing the ruling. The company owns most of the rest of the market as well, including WHTR (107.1 Hudson Falls), the former CHR station that's gone oldies under the "Wheels 107" nickname. Expect new calls there shortly.
From the Spring book: Buffalo rocker WGRF (96.9) solidified its number-one standing, followed by a surging news-talk WBEN (930), which should do even better in the Fall book now that it's Bills season. WBEN rose from fourth in Spring, aided by an afternoon programming switch that brought back Buffalo veteran Sandy Beach.
On the translator front: Just a few days after Pensacola's WPCS filed for an 89.7 relayer in Elmira, public broadcaster WEOS (89.7 Geneva) has filed a petition to deny. WEOS says its listeners to the south could experience interference from the Elmira translator.
Nice day for a Wease wedding: Rochester morning institution Alan Levin, better known as "Brother Wease," tied the knot last weekend in a ceremony at Rochester's downtown convention center attended by more than 400 guests. It's the third marriage for the 50-year-old WCMF (96.5) jock, and the first for bride Doreen Brady.
From the obituaries: Joel Loy, the Rochester-based reporter whose career ranged from local WOKR (Channel 13) to "Inside Edition," died on Saturday of lung cancer. Loy went to work at WOKR in 1969, starting as a photographer and moving up to reporting, then hosting the local edition of "PM Magazine." That led to PM Magazine duties at Washington's WTTG (Channel 5), and then to eight years with Inside Edition. Loy was 50 years old.
WTIC (1080) topped the Hartford summer ratings, knocking AC WRCH (100.5) out of the 12+ lead. Country WWYZ (92.5) stayed solid at third.
WHJY posted strong gains (more than a point and a half) in the Summer book to end up in first place, ahead of WPRO-FM, which dropped more than two points to fall from first to fourth 12+.
Middletown's 100.3 has a new format and nickname. WDGF became classic rocker "The Hawk" last Friday morning, dropping its dance format and "Beat" moniker. NERW suspects new owner Citadel is trying to shave a point or two off the ratings of competing SFX rocker WHJY. New calls are expected soon.
Manchester's WKBR (1250) has been on and off the air all week. WKBR made a return earlier in the week to its simulcast of AAA WXRV (92.5 Haverhill, Mass.) instead of One-on-0ne Sports, which ran for only a few days.
Manchester's WRND (91.7) will need a new authorization to remain silent. The Notre Dame College station left the air April 8, with authority to remain silent for six months. It's now for sale, and must return to the air by April 1998 to keep the license.
Nashua's WMVU (900) has a new Web site, along with one for sister stations WPEP and WNSH (1570 Taunton and Beverly, Mass.). Gone from AM 900 is the "Woody and Al" afternoon talk show, which airs for the last time Friday.
That's this week's report; we'll see you here again next Thursday!